The Association is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour. This policy statement tells you how we will respond to incidents and complaints.
Hastoe aims to provide “good places for people to come home to”. Residents expect, and the vast majority enjoy, a peaceful and enjoyable home environment. Neighbours respect each other and manage their homes accordingly. There are, however, occasions when this falls down. This statement tells residents what they can expect from the Association.
Statement of Intent
No resident or staff member should be subject to anti-social behaviour in Hastoe’s homes or on our estates. We will respond vigorously to behaviour that is unreasonable, threatening, intimidating or criminal. We will work with residents, as well as other relevant agencies, to tackle anti-social behaviour comprehensively. Hastoe will ensure that staff are informed and trained to deliver an effective response to complaints of anti-social behaviour. We will also work closely with partner agencies in preventing and intervening on anti-social behaviour. This Statement sets out how the Association will support its obligations as a responsible social housing provider and is sub-divided as follows:
- What is unreasonable behaviour
- Tenant and Resident Actions
- Victim and Witness Support
- Local and Central Monitoring
What is unreasonable behaviour?
This policy deals with actions that unreasonably interfere with the quality of life of others. Certain nuisances and inconveniences must be accepted as a part of living within close proximity to others e.g. cooking smells, babies crying, one off parties etc. In most circumstances these would be considered “reasonable” activities for neighbours to contend with. Anti-social behaviour includes:
• ongoing minor nuisances that have not been resolved with initial action or
• an incident or incidents that have a serious negative impact on people’s security or sense of well-being in and around their home. This might include persistent nuisance, racial or other harassment and threatening or criminal behaviour.
Tenant and resident actions
The greatest chance of resolving a neighbour dispute, and ensuring a better relationship between the parties in the future, is if the two sides can talk to each other and see each other’s point of view. So we encourage individual residents and groups (such as residents groups) to sort out disputes, nuisance and minor anti-social behaviour. Hastoe will support residents to take responsibility and manage minor incidents and relationship difficulties in a reasonable manner. We will do this by providing advice and acting as a guide of good practice.
Hastoe aims to deliver safe home environments and cohesive communities. Hastoe will sponsor local community safety improvements through the Added Value Programme (a programme for delivering estate improvements in liaison with residents) and in partnership with local authority community programmes. On new schemes we seek to include design features that improve community safety (such as the Secure by Design scheme). We consult with local authorities and parish councils prior to and after development. The Association will use newsletters, mailings and local liaison opportunities to remind residents of the consequences of anti-social activities by the minority.
Early interventions are more successful than allowing situations to deteriorate. Hastoe uses a range of management responses to seek early resolution. These include multi-agency case conferencing and support for those that are struggling, mediation, family group conferencing, community conferencing, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, Parenting Contracts etc. Hastoe staff will give relevant advice regarding record-keeping and evidence-gathering, both in terms of managing interventions and preparing for enforcement action. Diary Sheets will be provided on request or when we know of anti-social behaviour arising.
Where necessary, the Association will take enforcement action. This may include injunctions, possession proceedings, Anti-social Behaviour Orders, Parenting Orders and Demotion Orders. This is done through Regional Manager and Area Housing Manager liaison or in partnership with local agencies and local communities (including those immediately affected by the anti-social behaviour). Clear advice will be given both to the perpetrators of the anti-social behaviour and those whose quality of life is being affected on the enforcement options, the processes, timeframe and likely consequence(s) of the action being taken.
Victim and Witness Support
Victims of anti-social behaviour may have experienced unreasonable behaviour for some time before making a complaint. Particularly in cases of violence or the threat of violence, Hastoe will seek to provide relevant and timely (usually 24 hours) practical and emotional support to the victim or witness to minimise the fear of reprisal and actual intimidation and repeat victimisation. Where possible, the Association’s staff will seek to avoid the need for victims to act as witnesses by securing evidence from the police, Hastoe staff, or other local sources. Hastoe staff will also provide advice on local agency victim support in liaison with local authority initiatives and the voluntary sector. Staff can also support residents with translation services and advice on specialist support services e.g. domestic violence.
Local and Central Monitoring
Regional Managers are responsible for the recording and monitoring of incidents and complaints of anti-social behaviour and ensuring appropriate action is taken in accordance with this policy. A report of trends and performance is submitted to the Board annually.
Where a resident is dissatisfied with Hastoe’s response to anti-social behaviour and any aspect of our service, this should be pursued through our Complaints Policy and Procedure. A copy can be obtained from the relevant regional office.